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Friday, August 26, 2016 | Vol. 35, No. 35

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Indo American erican News

www.indoamerican-news.com Published weekly from Houston, TX

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Makes Fun Incredible!

From left: Nisha Mirani, Sapna Shah, Sanjay Sohoni, Falguni Gandhi, Parul Fernandes, Pramod Bengani, Meera Kapur, Charlie Patel, Swapan Dhairyawan, Rajiv Bhavsar, Ajit Patel and Dr K D Upadhyaya at the India Fest by India Culture Center on Saturday, August 20 at Stafford Center.

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August 26, 2016

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COMMUNITY

August 26, 2016

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Piety of Gurmat Sangeet Soars in Kirtan by Acclaimed Raagis

BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA

HOUSTON:

It was religious music with a tempo, based on the taals or scales of Indian classical raags. If you didn’t understand the words you would still be entranced as the range of the voices carried you away from the highs and lows of devotional hymns. The maestro who had perfected his style of reciting the Punjabi hymns taken straight from the Guru Granth Sahib controlled his pitch and delivery so that you had no choice but to be captivated. “Sajanarraa maeraa sajanarraa mkatt; khaloeiarraa maeraa saajanarraa”. It was Sunday just before noon and he played on that verse over and over in several taals to where it was plain music. “Friend, my friend – standing so near to me is my friend”. The screen above the stage projected the words. For three days this past week, Friday August 19 through Sunday afternoon, August 21, Dr. Gurnam Singh and Bhai Nirmal Singh, both with their own group of musicians, brought the piety of the words of the Granth Sahib – the Gurmat Sangeet or Shabad Kirtan – to packed halls of the devout at the Gurdwara Sahib of Southwest Houston. Participating in the Gurmat Sangeet Sammelan was resident raagi Bhai Bhupinder Singh Paras, who regularly captivates the congregation with his voice. It was the second straight year that the trio participated in the Gurmat Sangeet Sammelan held at the Gurdwara. Gurnam Singh sang as he played the harmonium, with Manpreet Singh from New Jersey on second harmonium, Raghubir Singh from New Jersey on three tablas and Gurpreet Singh from Los Angeles on the stringed dillruba. The four sat in saffron turbans and performed traditional kirtan according to the parampara set by the Sikh Gurus. The equally accomplished Nirmal Singh performed with own group and the three maestros alternated throughout the three days of kirtans. Dr. Gurnam Singh is Chairman of the Gurmat Sangeet Department of Punjabi University at Patiala, Punjab. He is a practicing Raagi of utmost caliber and has authored 18 books, 123 research papers, and 250 articles on Gurmat San-

Gurdwara resident raagi Bhai Bhupinder Singh Paras (on harmonium) with his group.

Acclaimed visiting raagi Dr. Gurnam Singh (second from right) with Manpreet Singh from New Jersey on second harmonium, Raghubir Singh from New Jersey on three tablas and Gurpreet Singh from Los Angeles on the stringed dillruba

The devoted came to listen and be mesmerized by the performances while the shabads were displayed on a screen above.

geet and several masters and doctoral students are studying under him. He has also made a historical solo recording of 31 Gurbani Raagas for HMV. Bhai Nirmal Singh Khalsa has captivated Sikh sangats all over the world and is the Hazoori raagi of Sri Harimandar Sahib (The Golden Temple), Amritsar where he has performed kirtan for the last 30 years. Shabad Kirtan began in the 16th century as the musical expression of mystical poetry conceived by the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak. He initiated the tradition of communicating the spiritual message through his utterances, acting as humanity’s channel to the divine. AHHHll the other Sikh gurus sang in the ten prevalent classical and folk music styles, accompanied by stringed and percussion instruments and they specified the

raaga in which each hymn was sung. Thirty one main raagas and thirty one variants were named in the Sikh music tradition. These raagas have a direct relationship to human moods and feelings at different times of the day and seasons. Over the centuries, Sikh musicians developed into three types: rabais, raagis and dhadhis. The program was organized by Jasbir Singh, Vice-Chairman, Board of Trustees and assisted by Harcharan Singh of the Sri Hemkunt Foundation, both of whom spoke briefly, giving introductions to the artists. And the sangat which came to the packed performances over three days were not disappointed by the power of the devotional sangeet. For a short video of Dr. Gurnam Singh performing at the Southwest Gurdwara, visit indoamerican-news.com and click on the link in this article.

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August 26, 2016

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COMMUNITY

August 26, 2016

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Incredible Fun with I(ncredible)CC India Fest!

STAFFORD: It looks like the orga-

nizers have found the sweet spot for festival goers, if the attendance for last weekend’s India Fest organized by the India Culture Center is any gauge. Start after lunch, have plenty of local talent participation and then let it flow seamlessly through the early evening and close in enough time for people to go elsewhere. And what a difference it has made to the last three flagship events that form the bulk of the ICC’s efforts year long. By the midafternoon, the entire hall was packed and amidst a constant stream of people going through the day-long event. The festival wouldn’t have been as successful had it not been for the team effort chaired by ICC Director Pramod Bengani and the planning that started two months earlier. Altogether, 52 booths were sold out in the 10 days before the event with Coordinator Charlie Patel and Ajit Patel pushing the effort while Coordinator Swapan Dhairyawan and Nisha Mirani pulled together a colorful 36-page Tarang keepsake souvenir. A “Mom, Dad & Me” talent contest (coordinated by Keka Kar and sponsored by Xfinity Comcast) gave a chance for the entire family to present dance, music or instrumental skills with a cash prize going to winner Soma Ghosh and her family. The Essay Competition had over 28 contestants in age

From left: ICC President Rajiv Bhavsar, Indian Consul General Anupam Ray, and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner.

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sevak Sangh Group, Kathak Kala Kendra, skit from Indian Muslims Association of Greater Houston and JVB Preksha Center, Houston Brethren, Bollywood Shake, Kala Kunj, VVM, Woodlands Garba Group, Infused Performing Arts, Bollywood Shake, US Desi Galz, HH Creationz, Sparsh Group, Telugu Dance Group and a choir from Tagore Society of Houston. This jam packed colorful cultural segment was coordinated by Swapan Dhairyawan, Nisha Mirani and Sapna Shah. And wrapping it up was a musical segment of Bollywood hits from local young artist Serene Kaggal, which was an instant hit. Not to be forgotten was the expert handling of the AV and sound systems by Darshak and Mona Thacker of Krishna Sounds and photography by Raghu Thakkar.

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“Weaves of India” sari wrapping segment

Indo American News (ISSN 887-5936) is published weekly every Friday (for a subscription of $40 per year) by IndoAmerican News Inc., 7457 Harwin Dr., Suite 262, Houston, TX 77036., tel: 713-789-6397, fax:713-789-6399, email: indoamericannews@yahoo.com. Periodical postage paid at Houston, Texas. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to Indo American News,7457 Harwin Dr., Suite 262, Houston, TX 77036

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pam Ray. Proclamations came from the offices Texas Senator John Cornyn, Congressman Al Green, Houston City Controller Chris Brown and the Ft. Bend Trustees. The program included a Community Service Award to SEWA International for their exemplary service; a Recognition Award given to Rebecca Hathorn from the Stafford Civic Centre and recognition of the Safety Officers of the City of Houston, Stafford, Sugar Land and Missouri City. The Cultural program featured an extravaganza of 26 dances, 2 skits and a Choir - all told over 280 kids, teens and adults performing on the stage with an outsized LED display constantly running video behind them; a record participation for the ICC. It included performances by the Bollywood Dancing Stars, Sunanda Performing Arts, Anjali Center, Laaya Dance Group, Kalakriti Performing Arts, TAAL Group, TYAGI Group, Hindu Swayam-

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group 6 to21years (Coordinator Parul Fernandes). Meanwhile, the “Weaves of India” sari wrapping segment (sponsored by Sling TV and coordinated by Sangeeta Pasrija and Sangita Dua) showcased 10 women in the styles of the different States of India. The Geography and History Quiz (Co-ordinated by Sanjay Sohoni) at the ICC booth in the lobby was swamped with kids who were excited to answer questions to win cookies and chocolates. The event began with the National Anthem sung by Paarth Maniar after which emcees Pratik Mirani and Neera Patel took over. There were welcome speeches by Pramod Bengani and ICC President Rajiv Bhavsar, followed by speeches by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner; Stafford Mayor Leonard Scarcella; Missouri City Mayor Allen Owen; Sugar Land Protem Mayor Himesh Gandhi and Councilman Harish Jajoo; and Indian Consul General Anu-

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August 26, 2016

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COMMUNITY

August 26, 2016

Akshaya Patra Breaks Ground for New Kitchen Outside Hyderabad

Children eating Akshaya Patra meal in Hyderabad

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Omi Vaidya

STONEHAM, MA: On August 11, the

Akshaya Patra Foundation held a foundation stone laying ceremony on 1.5 acres of land in Narsingi outside Hyderabad. The kitchen was made possible with a grant from the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd. The foundation anticipates that the kitchen will begin to serve its first meals to 30,000 government school children in Gandipet, Kokapet, and Poppalguda. “By providing nutritious food, we are not only supporting the children’s education but also making the child a capable citizen who can contribute to the country. We are trying to bridge the gap between rich and poor”, said Akshaya Patra Chairman, Madhu Pandit Dasa. The new kitchen will be the 26th of Akshaya Patra’s state-of-the-art centralized kitchens, which are the hallmark of the program. Akshaya Patra’s founders used their own knowledge of engineering to design immense mechanized kitchen facilities each capable of preparing meals for 100,000 children every day. Akshaya Patra’s custom chapatti machines can bake 60,000 chapattis in five hours and easy-tilt cauldrons can produce 1,200 liters of rice or sambar in just two hours. These technological innovations optimize quality and minimize cost, time and labor to ensure that the meals prepared are safe, fresh, and nutritious. All of Akshaya Patra’s kitchens meet the highest standards of safety and efficiency, and ten of Akshaya Patra’s kitchens have already been certified as FSMS ISO 22000:2005 compliant, which means they meet the standards of the International Food Safety Management System (FSMS). The International

Chef Sanjeev Kapoor

Organization for Standardization established the ISO 22000 certification to ensure the safety of the global food supply chain. Established in 2000, Akshaya Patra began by serving 1,500 in 5 schools in Bangalore. Today Akshaya Patra is the largest NGO-run school meal programs in the world and serves over 1.5 million children daily in over 11,501 schools through 24 kitchens in ten states in India. In 2016, Akshaya Patra is celebrating its 15th Anniversary and the serving of its 2 billionth meal to children in India. Akshaya Patra USA is the US branch of Akshaya Patra and raises funds and awareness for the school meal program in India. Akshaya Patra USA’s Houston Chapter will hold its 2016 Houston Benefit Event on Friday, October 7th at the Sugar Land Marriott Town Square. Chef Sanjeev Kapoor will be the event’s keynote speaker for the event. Actor and comedian, Omi Vaidya will be the Master of Ceremonies. The event will be held at the Marriott in Sugar Land, Texas, and will begin with a welcome reception. Over 350 business, non-profit, government, and philanthropic leaders from around the region are expected to attend and support the organization’s dual mission of addressing childhood hunger and malnutrition and to promote education for underserved children in India. For more information about Akshaya Patra, please visit www.foodforeducation.org. This year’s event will feature an evening of networking, entertainment, and dinner. For more information: Manisha@apusa. org or 832-876-2142 To register: Piyali@apusa.org or 781-4628454 To register or purchase tickets: www.foodforeducation.org/houston

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August 26, 2016

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COMMUNITY

August 26, 2016

NextGen Networking Mixer

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Attendees of the evening pose for a photo with IACCGH Board Member, Narayan Bhargava and Pratham Young Professionals President, Darel D’Souza. Photos: Bijay Dixit

Micheal Cordua gives a speech about entrepreneurship to guests at the event.

BY MANU SHAH

HOUSTON: How do you en-

gage and involve the next generation of professionals in a cause you believe in? Twenty eight year old Narayan Bhargava – IACCGH Board member and NextGen Committee founder and Darel D’Souza, President, Pratham Young Professionals (PYP) had an idea. The two organizations teamed up to host the first “NextGen Networking Mixer” at the upscale Americas restaurant in River Oaks on August 17. Not only did the evening offer attendees an opportunity to connect with other professionals in an informal environment but the chance to listen to an inspiring story of entrepreneurship and the importance of people for success – a lesson driven home by Michael Cordua - founder and CEO of Cordua Restaurants, which includes familiar Houston establishments like Americas, Amazon Grill, and Churrascos. In his welcome remarks, Darel D’souza gave a brief outline about PYP, which he described as “a small group that makes a big difference.” The organization funds 10 schools to increase the

literacy rates among the underprivileged sections in India. Narayan Bhargava offered an overview of the Chamber and its mission in promoting the economic growth of the Greater Houston region. He also explained the NextGen initiative and its intent to engage and involve college students and young professionals in the Chamber. Narayan went on to introduce Americas entrepreneurial owner – Michael Cordua who described his early struggles in the shipping business and observed that “most entrepreneurs are born when they are thrown out of their comfort zone.” A chef himself, Cordua decided to start an authentic South American restaurant in “Tex-mex dominated Houston”. Despite some initial setbacks, the restaurant took off and expanded to many more. In conclusion, Cordua advised the gathering “that it is people who will make your business.” This point was further elaborated by Narayan who drew a sharp connection between networking, optimizing connections and professional growth. According to him “the NextGen Networking event at America’s Restaurant was a great success because people were able to genuinely network and also take some wisdom back home from Mi-

chael Cordua - a successful Houston entrepreneur. Moreover, doing the event with PYP allowed us to take another step towards building a younger base for the Chamber and also further developing our relationship with a peer group.” Over the last two years, IACCGH has rolled out two new initiatives aimed at the younger generation. An International Student Internship program sends select business students to intern in Corporate India as well as a company in Houston. The objective is to offer interns a dual perspective of how business is conducted in two different countries. Ankit Bhowmick and Akash Dhingra were the two students selected for internships in Shell India and JSW Steel, respectively this year. In addition, IACCGH started an internal internship program. Three business students from the C.T. Bauer of Business were selected to intern at the Chamber to offer them the experience of working with a nonprofit. For more information about “NextGen Networking”, please write to info@ iaccgh.com

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COMMUNITY

JVB Conducts Annual Children Summer Camp with 5 Different Color Coordinated Themes BY SEEMA JAIN

HOUSTON: JVB Preksha Med-

itation Center, Houston conducted its Annual Children Summer Camp with much vigor & enthusiasm. The camp was held under the auspicious guidance of Samani Vikas Pragyaji & Samani Maryada Pragyaji from August 8-12. A total of 15 Kids, ages 6 to 13years, attended the week long eventful camp where they played, explored, laughed and learned together. The uniqueness of this camp was in its five different themes for five different days. Kids looked forward to each day as it helped them explore what they liked doing the most through handful of different activities. They started every morning with blessings of Samanjis, Spiritual gurus who stay in the center. The first day of the camp was all about Inventor’s workshop which broadened their horizons with hands on Science and Math activities. The second day belonged to Green Thumbs where they learned the compassion towards Mother Nature by becoming its different elements in the form of Sun, Cloud, Rain, Birds, Animals, Insects and how each and every one is dependent on each other. Creative crafts were made with rocks, pebbles

Children Camp group picture with Volunteers & Kids

and pine cones collected from the play area around the center. The third day started with the 2 hour session of Yoga & Meditation under the expert guidance of Samani Maryada Pragyaji which taught them discipline, focus, value of good health, and mindfulness. Kids love to measure, mix and bake and that’s what the fourth day of the camp was all about. The culinary craft of the day with common table salt channeled their energy into creative expression and baking mini pizzas, M&M Chocolate chip cookies and savoring the deliciousness of their own creations turned out to be most fun activity of the day. The finale day connected kids with the roots of India and they took the journey home with its theme of “Around the world- exploring Incredible India”. Learning about Indian history, painting special ancient craft form called Gond Art, Talent show based on Mahatma Gandhi’s teachings and learning the different forms of Indian folk dances were the highlights of this special day. All kids enjoyed creative games like candy fun, Balloon pop and loved making new friends. On the last day, while giving their feedback, kids wished they could have stayed for few more days to enjoy

the camp activities. No event is successful without the help of talented and dedicated volunteers who are the backbone of any organization and JVB center is blessed & proud to have the services of such wonderful volunteers. About 15 dedicated volunteers came together to join hands in nurturing the young curious minds with their creativity, enthusiasm and love. JVB center truly appreciates & salutes its volunteers and looks forward to their patronage and affection for many more community events coming on the way! JVB Preksha Meditation Center is home to a specially designed Preksha Dhyan ‘Pyramid’ Meditation Hall and is located at 14102 Schiller Rd, Houston, TX 77082. It has free weekly Meditation, Yoga & Swadhyay sessions which are open to all. Upcoming Events include Special Paryushan Parv Celebrations from August 30th- Sep.6th. Morning Schedule, Agam Vachan from 10am11:30am and Evening Schedule, Discourse & Pratikraman from 7pm-9pm. For more information, please visit www.jvbhouston. org or call 281.596.9642.

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, AUGUST 26, 2016 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


COMMUNITY

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COMMUNITY

National Marrow Donor Program Honors Houston’s Indian American Cancer Network (IACAN) HOUSTON : The Indian Ameri-

can Cancer Network (IACAN) in Houston has been named the 2016 Leadership Award recipient by the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP)/Be The Match, which operates the Be The Match Registry. As the largest and most diverse marrow registry in the world, Be The Match works every day to save lives through transplant. The registry recognizes individuals and groups for outstanding contributions to its mission through an annual award program. Be The Match recognized IACAN for its exceptional success in promoting bone marrow donor registration and donations through educational outreach and bone marrow drives among the South Asian community in the Greater Houston area. “On behalf of IACAN, I would like to thank all bone marrow donors for their selfless act, all registrants who heeded our call to register, all Indian organizations, groups, individuals and media partners in the Greater Houston for partnering with us to promote bone marrow registration drives. Your support and participation was instrumental in IACAN being recognized with this outstanding award. We look forward to continuing to work together to save and improve the lives of those in need of bone marrow transplants. We thank Gaytri Kapoor, Donor Contact Representative, Be The Match Program, Houston, Texas, for nominating IACAN for this award,” commented Kumari Susarla, current President of IACAN. Founded in August 2009 in Houston, IACAN is an essential cancer resource network that educates and supports the Indian

American community. The organization works tirelessly to educate Houston’s South Asian community about the need for life-saving bone marrow transplantation and the importance of increasing the number of South Asian registrants in the NMDP registry. While IACAN primarily provides support to South Asian patients in the Greater Houston area, the organization also supports national and international patients. IACAN helps patients in India navigate the bone marrow transplant (BMT) process, and provides support and guidance for patients in India and other countries, including Singapore and Brunei. In 1996 before the conception of IACAN, P. G. Parameswaran, MD, a now former board member and joint secretary of IACAN, began hosting bone marrow donor drives for Houston’s South Asian

community. IACAN is now responsible for organizing and sponsoring over 100 bone marrow donor registration drives. In addition, the organization has registered over 4,000 new registrants, thus substantially increasing the number of South Asian bone marrow donor registrants in the national registry. IACAN has increased the national registry’s Houston area South Asian donations by 275 percent. Before IACAN began its work in 2009, the national registry accounted for 12 donations by South Asians, but since IACAN’s involvement the number of donations has grown to 45 in the Houston area, as of June 2016. IACAN will receive the 2016 Leadership Award on Friday, November 11 at the opening session of the 2016 NMDP/Be The Match Annual Council Meeting at the Hilton Minneapolis Hotel.

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, AUGUST 26, 2016 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


COMMUNITY

August 26, 2016

IACF Annual Gala on Friday, September 30

HOUSTON: The Indo-Ameri-

can Charity Foundation (IACF) will hold its annual gala on Friday, September 30, 2016, at the Stafford Civic Center. The theme for this year’s gala is ‘After the Monsoon, Charity Blossoms’. The event will showcase IACF’s supporting charities, individuals and organizations that share its mission to serve communities in the Greater Houston area. The evening will highlight new collaborations and initiatives accompanied with great food, drinks, and dancing. To incorporate the After the Monsoon, Charity Blossoms theme, IACF has introduced various sponsorship levels, and Memorial Hermann Hospital is graciously serving as the grand sponsor of the event at the Lotus Level. The non-profit organization is

excited to involve the local community and will have its first Angels of Charity fashion show with local celebrities walking the ramp. Active volunteers and supporters of IACF will be spotlighted as Friends of Charity during the evening. Guests will also have the opportunity to participate in a silent auction featuring artwork from local talent. For the past 28 years IACF has raised funds to help support local organizations that are new and/or in need of aid to provide services to thousands of Houstonians. IACF invites you to come support their mission of “We live here. We give here.” Funds raised during the 2016 Gala will support IACF’s programs and services and will support thousands of Houstonians.

SHIBU PHILIP, MTax, CPA TAX & ACCOUNTING

Individual, LLC, S corp & C corp returns Trusts, Estates & Gifts tax returns Bookkeeping and Financial Statements Business entity selection and formation FBAR Report & Medicare Cost Reports

(832) 937-3054

Our major sponsors Memorial Hermann Texas Medical Center will be joined by other supporters in recognizing individuals and groups as “Angles of Charity’ and “Friends of Charity” on the occasion. For more information about IACF and to purchase tickets for the gala, visit www.iacfhouston. com To partner with IACF as a sponsor for the Gala, please contact Shweta Arora at (832)483-4442. ABOUT IACF: The Indo-American Charity Foundation (IACF) is a non-profit charitable organization that helps the underprivileged and needy with monetary contributions and volunteer work through established and emerging organizations in the Greater Houston Area. IACF was founded in 1988 by a group of Houstonians of Indian origin (Indo- American) compelled by an altruistic desire to give back to their local community. Their mission to help the underprivileged originated with the effort to fight hunger, and has now developed into a multi-faceted philanthropic endeavor to help those in need of health, education and human services in the Greater Houston Area.

810 Murphy Rd Ste G, Stafford, TX 77477

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August 26, 2016

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18 August 26, 2016 Why Not Adopt a Village?

EDITORIAL/COMMENTARY Learning to Play the Games

BY ANIL DHARKER

India’s quest for Olympic medals is

In 2014, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh unveiled the ambitious

Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojna and requested MPs to develop one model village in their constituency by 2016 and two more by 2019. Unfortunately, the MPs, especially from the BJP, have not warmed up to the PM’s plan to transform India’s villages. According to the first report card of the ‘Adopt a Village’ plan by the rural development ministry, which is anchoring the project, MPs from parties other than the BJP have outdone the PM and his council of ministers. The top 15 parliamentarians include civil aviation minister Pusapati Ashok Gajapathi Raju of the TDP, Congress’ Motilal Vora, Samajwadi Party’s Dimple Yadav and businesswoman Anu Aga. These MPs have used the funds creatively to improve social welfare (immunisation, drinking water supply, disability and widow pensions, school enrolment, electrification and mid-day meal scheme) in their adopted villages. Seven hundred and two MPs joined the first phase of the plan enthusiastically and of these, 646 submitted village development plans and the progress of all the villages were charted on 35 parameters. The ministry then chose the top 47 villages and sent 16 teams to check the progress on the ground. Why are our MPs so reluctant to make good use of this scheme, especially since they never tire of talking about the need to develop India’s villages during the public speeches? Earlier, senior rural development ministry officials said MPs have complained about lack of funds to carry out these schemes. “They have raised the issue in Parliament and have also written letters to the ministry. Thereafter, the ministry wrote a letter for provision of funds from corporate, voluntary and private sectors,” an official told a national daily earlier this year. In order to end this funds crunch, the ministry has decided to tap funds from corporate resources for the scheme. A letter dated December 22, 2015, by the ministry said gram panchayats should tap the resources of the private sector for development works. “Each gram panchayat should proactively tap the resources and strengths of the private, voluntary and cooperative sectors which could help in making available relevant technologies for local adoptions as well as making investments for local economic development, either independently or to supplement government efforts,” said the letter which has been written to principal secretaries. If we use a corporate analogy, MPs are project managers and they have to think of ways on how to implement critical development programmes and source funds for them. But a majority of them don’t seem to be interested in going that extra mile to make this ‘Adopt a Village’ scheme a success. What is extremely unfortunate is that the Cabinet ministers also who have not managed to implement this plan when they are the one who should have showed the way. If money, facilities and a chance to effect a change cannot motivate them, what else will? -hindustantimes.com

hampered by history and geography. We need to concentrate on events where our strength lies. So the gold turned to silver. No matter, because it was really the bronze which became silver. Until Rio, three Indian women had won the bronze (Karnam Malleswari, weightlifting, Sydney 2000; Saina Nehwal, badminton, London 2012; Mary Kom, boxing, London 2012). The bronze tally was raised to four by wrestler Sakshi Malik — and we would have been pretty happy if P.V. Sindhu had won a bronze too. Until, suddenly, there was the prospect of gold. At the Olympics, as in life, it’s a matter of managing expectations. Every four years, we as a nation build up our hopes, only to have them dashed to the ground when reality comes calling. Who builds up these expectations? Not our participating sportsmen: For them, there is no such thing as blind hope — the rankings, the stop watch and the measuring tape tell everyone where they stand against the world’s best; if our Olympians nurse a secret hope, it’s that they will do better than their own best. That won’t be good enough to win medals, but it’s more than enough to win satisfaction. That’s how we, participating from the comforts of our living room, should see it; but we don’t, so we end up in either recrimination or despair. It’s, therefore, instructive to look at cold facts. Till Sakshi and Sindhu went beyond their best (and Dipa Karmakar almost did), Rio looked particularly bleak, a medal-less Olympics for India. Yet had the tally ended up being zero, it wouldn’t have been so for the first time: Overall, in six Olympics, our take-home has been just that. And if it hadn’t been for our hockey team’s incredible run from 1928 to 1980, we would have been emptyhanded 16 times. Sports just isn’t our thing, baby. By the record books, our first individual medals were won in 1900 in Paris, but that’s an aberration, because the athlete with silvers in 200 metres and 200 metre hurdles was

Norman Pritchard, born to English parents in Calcutta (as it was then called), who entered the games via London and was initially credited as being part of the British team. India’s Olympic journey really begins in 1928, soon after we were affiliated to the International Olympic Committee. Our first individual medal came only in 1952 (K.D. Jadhav, bronze in wrestling). Then nothing till 1996 when Leander Paes won bronze in tennis. After that, by our standards, there has been an unseemly rush of individual medals — 13 in five Olympics, of which as many as six came in London. As predictable as the paucity of medals is the breast-beating that follows. “A nation of 1.2 billion people, yet just a couple of medals!” is how it usually begins. It seems like an unanswerable argument till you break up that figure. Of our total population, only 377 million live in urban areas, whereas the majority (833 million) lives in rural areas. Since there are no organised sports of any kind in the latter, we can begin with an Indian population of 377 million which has access to sports. But urban poverty is a fact of life: Only the figures vary depending on the definition of poverty. The Rangarajan Committee, the Tendulkar panel and the yet to be released Hashim Committee of the last Planning Commission, all differ in their definitions. Hashim puts 35 per cent of urban Indian households below the poverty line. Using that yardstick, we get only 245 million people in urban areas having any kind of access to sports. However, this is only a theoretical access because a very large number of lower middle class to middle class children have extremely limited sports facilities. I tried to get figures for something as measurable as tennis courts — and I found that Mumbai has 55 while Washington has more than 600. One estimate is there are over one lakh tennis courts in the US while in India there can only be a few thousand. These are unreliable figures but useful to give us an idea of what our budding sportsmen are up against. But numbers aren’t the only thing: Kenya with a population of just 46

million has won 91 Olympic medals from just 14 Olympics, while even more phenomenally, Jamaica has won 68 from 17 games. And its population is just 2.7 million, which is slightly less than the population of Hisar. What possibly can that mean? I have chosen Kenya and Jamaica not just because of their inordinate international success, but also because they are not yet part of the developed world. More than that, it is vital to see what sports disciplines their medals have been won. In the case of Kenya, most of them are in athletics with as many as 61 in long distance running. In the case of Jamaica, 64 of the 68 medals are in athletics’ sprints events. If winning medals is our priority rather than just participating, Kenya and Jamaica tell us a story which is confirmed by similar stories from other countries: That physical body structure (compare a sprinter and a marathoner), weather conditions and terrain, as well as tradition, play a dominant part in how well a country does in a particular sport, not determination. To break your national record, you have to work hard; to meet the Olympics qualifying mark, you have to work even harder. Every athlete wants to win (no one travels to an international competition for a picnic). But wanting to win is far from actually winning. If we look at our 15 individual medals (excluding the two of Pritchard), as many as five have come from wrestling and four from shooting. It is clear where our strength lies. We could add related fields for future success, fields in which we have already tasted some international success — archery and weight-lifting. These are what we should concentrate on — others like tennis or badminton or gymnastics will always get the occasional Sania Mirza or Sindhu or Dipa Karmakar, but they will be exceptions. To catch up with the world in other games, we are fighting both geography and history. In those games we can fervently echo the Olympic motto framed by its founder Pierre de Coubertin: “The important thing is not winning, but taking part.” Dharker is a writer and columnist. -indianexpress.com

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August 26, 2016

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The Extraordinary Life and Times of Mahatma Gandhi - Part 13

The story thus far…It was an-

nounced that a meeting was to be held in a garden called Jallianwala Bagh, to protest against the government’s actions. General Dyer took no measures to prevent the meeting. He reached the place soon after the meeting began and he took with him armored cars and troops. Without giving any warning he ordered, “Fire till the bullets are finished.” The soldiers fired 1600 rounds into that unarmed mass of people. Once a park, Jallianwala Bagh was now a scene of the most brutal massacre of hundreds. Hundreds of men, women, and children were butchered, though the official figures given were only 379 killed and 2000 wounded. Leaving the wounded and dying on the ground, the troops marched away. The name Jallianwala Bagh became synonymous with massacre. There were other even more shameful deeds done all over the Punjab. Indians were ordered to crawl on their hands and knees. General Dyer also ordered that in certain areas all Indians were to alight from vehicles and salute whenever they passed a British officer. At certain places men were stripped naked and flogged. Students and children were ordered to walk miles for roll call, to attend parades, and salute the British flag. Then there was the stripping and flogging of marriage parties, the censorship of communications, and cutting of water and electricity supplies to Indian families. The administration of General Dyer’s martial law created a reign of terror in the Punjab. C. F. Andrews, who had already reached the Punjab, wrote to Gandhi and begged him to come at once. Gandhi wanted to go, but the Government turned down his requests for permission to visit the place. Finally, in October that year, the Viceroy permitted him to visit the Punjab, and Gandhi went. On his arrival at Lahore railway station, Gandhi found that almost the entire population of the city was waiting for him. The Congress had appointed a committee to enquire into the atrocities committed in the Punjab. On his arrival in Lahore he was requested to join the committee. He started a slow but most methodical investigation of the incidents in the Punjab. Gandhi thus had the opportunity to get to know the Punjab and its people. The people flocked to him. They loved and respected him. Jawaharlal Nehru, who was also there in the Punjab, realized that Gandhi was the leader of the masses. People were drawn to him because of his thoughts and deeds. Nehru saw the scientific accuracy with which Gandhi was conducting the enquiry. Gandhi’s report of the atrocities showed that the Government was trying to shield certain persons. He was never interested in taking revenge on anybody but he was shocked at the way the government sat silent when its own report was published.

He was greatly moved by the sufferings of the people in the Punjab. He knew the extent of the atrocities committed on the defenseless people. Gandhi now advised the people to not cooperate with the Government in every possible way. He advised them not to accept any of the honors offered by Britain, and requested those who had already received honors to return them. He wanted people to start a movement to boycott the law courts. He advised people not to buy any foreign goods. He wanted every effort to be made to persuade Indians not to serve the Government in any capacity. He called out students from the educational institutions. Gandhi’s influence on the Indian people was steadily growing. The old leaders, many of them with liberal policies, were vanishing from Indian politics. By the end of 1920 Gandhi was the undisputed leader and head of the Indian National Congress. The Congress was fighting for immediate Home Rule. Its method of fighting was nonviolent noncooperation with the government, and defying carefully selected laws at suitable times. Gandhi was very interested in Jawaharlal Nehru and his socialistic views. He was most impressed with the account given by Jawaharlal of his contacts with the peasants. Jawaharlal explained the difficulties the peasants were experiencing, particularly the high taxes they had to pay. The political situation in India grew worse. The Government became nervous. There was tension everywhere and amidst the suppressed people there was the danger of violence.

In spite of the hard attitude of the Government, Gandhi believed that England would soon right the wrong before it was too late. Jawaharlal was of the opinion that England would not change her policy unless she was forced to do so. Jawaharlal was right. Soon the Government started arresting the leaders and imprisoning them. The British were afraid to loosen their grip on India. On August 1, 1920, in a letter to Lord Chelmsford, the Viceroy, Gandhi gave the signal for a noncooperation campaign. Along with it he returned the Kaiser-i-Hind gold medal which had been awarded to him in 1915. In the columns of Young India Gandhi wrote in detail in defense of nonviolent noncooperation. With other leaders he traveled extensively addressing huge meetings and preaching the essentials of satyagraha. Everywhere the crowds welcomed him with great love and enthusiasm. Again and again he warned the people against violence. He abhorred mass fury. “If India has to get her freedom by violence,” he said, “let it be by the disciplined violence named war.” At the end of August the Gujarat Political Conference passed a noncooperation resolution and a special session of the Congress was held in Calcutta on September 4 to 9. Gandhi had prepared the draft of the noncooperation resolution. Gandhi was not sure how much support he would get at the Congress session. When he moved the resolution he said that he knew the resolution envisaged a policy which was different from the policy hitherto followed. “But,” he declared, “knowing this, I stand before you in fear of God and with a sense of duty to put this before you for your acceptance.” The special Congress session adopted the noncooperation plan as a means of attaining Swaraj. During the latter part of 1920 Gandhi advocated a triple boycott. He wanted an absolute boycott of the Government and all government institutions, including schools, colleges, and courts. If the people were free of these they could easily have their own schools, colleges, and courts, and the power of the British would collapse at once. There was much laughter and ridicule from the moderates and the supporters of British rule. But Gandhi paid no attention. — To be continued next week

Mahatma Gandhi Library, Inc. Coloring

CITY-WIDE CONTESTS

Poster

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The contest are open to all children in the greater Houston Area. The winners of these contests will be recognized at the 1000 Lights for Peace, a celebration of Mahatma Gandhi’s Birthday, on Sunday, October 2, 2016. For more information and registration visit www.gandhilibrary.org

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COMMUNITY

August 26, 2016

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The Amazing Mythili Prakash in Jwala (Rising Flame)

HOUSTON: A radiant star has

risen on the dance firmament, brightening the world with her electrifying presence. She is US born Mythili Prakash, recognized as one of the world’s leading young exponents of Bharatanatyam. Her classical yet inventive approach revitalizes the physicality, musicality and expressive theatricality of the dance, to create an exceptional style that is distinct and meaningful to audiences across the world. Hailed as a child prodigy, Mythili began her career as a Bharatanatyam performer at the age of 8 and has toured throughout the world, performing in prestigious venues and festivals. Mythili was trained by her mother, Bharatanatyam exponent Viji Prakash, and also had the opportunity to study with several legendary stalwarts from India. She is now under the mentorship of acclaimed dancer Malavika Sarukkai. A regular performer during the prestigious Madras Music Season, Mythili, recipient of numerous accolades and awards, (including NBC’s Superstars of Dance), has performed as a soloist for many respected institutions of dance in India including The Music Academy, Krishna Gana Sabha, Narada Gana Sabha, Kalakshetra (Chennai), Shanmukhananda Sabha (Mumbai), India International Centre (Delhi) and Chowdiah Memorial Hall (Bangalore). Critics describe her as “suave and contemporary…

a happy blend of Western stagecraft and Indian aesthetics”. Mythili’s brother Aditya Prakash is an equally brilliant artist, matching her superlative dancing skills with his amazing vocal talents. Aditya is a soloist in his own right, as a Carnatic musician, and also a leader of a fusion music band. This unmatched brothersister duo will be seen in action in Mythili’s latest production, JWALA (Rising Flame), being presented by Samskriti on Sunday, August 28, 4 PM at MATCH Houston, 3400 Main St, Houston, TX 77004. In Mythili’s own words – “JWALA explores an image that is central to both daily life and spiritual practice,

Mythili Prakash

not only in India but in all cultures. For me, a flame is strong, yet vulnerable, which contrasting quality gives rise to this work: the same flame that burns is that which illuminates. It’s about saying good-bye and looking ahead, about release and hope, about shedding and seeking. As a symbol the flame connects all worlds, cosmic and temporal, secular and spiritual. JWALA envisions the idea of “flame” through the language of

that yearns for liberation. Thus this production is both incredibly personal and yet, I hope, universal”. Mythili and Aditya will be accompanied by an ensemble of talented musicians. Special lighting has been designed by Venkatesh from India. “Her warmth and brightness as a performer suit the theme; those qualities surfaced as soon as the light came up on her slowly turning figure. Five musicians, including her brother, the vocalist Aditya Prakash, joined her onstage, and from the first moment, music and dance worked together in trance-inducing harmony” – Dance critic Siobhan Burke after witnessing JWALA in New York. For ticket information and directions, visit www.matchouston.org or call (713) 521-4533 to buy online. This program has been made possible by grants from the Texas Commission on the Arts and the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance.

Bharatanatyam, a form that is at once highly codified in its gestural language and structure, yet has tremendous scope for interpretation and creative liberty. The work is classical - and experimental. My challenge has been to find the dance technique to embody the various qualities of flame – from aggressive and destructive fire to the radiance and illumination of a candle, from the blazing sun that lights our universe to the inner flame

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22 August 26, 2016 HOUSTON: Neha Bhat, a lively,

sixteen year old gave Arangetram, her first formal solo of Bharatnatyam, (the Indian classical dance) performance at the Berry Center Theater, Cypress Texas on July 23, in the presence of an enthusiastic audience consisting of family and friends. Arangetram is performed by a student on completion of the basic training called a Margam or path. It is considered to be an important stepping stone in the study of this treasured art form. Neha’s journey as a dancer began at the age of seven. From learning her first adavus at Abhinaya School of Dance under the artistic guidance of her Guru, Indrani Pathasarathy to graduating to her solo performance over nine years. Through those years Neha has performed at numerous events and venues such as the Houston International festival, India Independence Day festival at George R Brown Center, the local Hindu temples, Janmasthami celebrations and Abhinaya School’s Rasaanubhava recitals. The Arangetram was inaugurated with Ananda Narthana Ganpathy, an invocatory dance in praise of Lord Ganesha. Neha performed Jathiswaram – a dance that combines complex rhythmic sequences of movements in groupings of jatis, which is performed to swara, passages in a particular raga (melodic scale) and tala. Followed by a beautiful rendition of Keerthanam, a dance in praise

COMMUNITY Arangetram: Neha Bhat

Photos: Amitava Sarkar

of Parashakthi, the consort of Lord Shiva. Neha elaborated on Mashisura, a demon who changes his form at will between human and buffalo.

The dance concluded in a powerful enactment of Goddess Durga annihilating the demon. Neha then performed centerpiece

of the program sequence – Varnam. The most intricate and challenging of all dances in the Bharathanatyam repertoire. The audience was enthralled by Neha’s superb balance between Nritya, pure dance and Abhinaya, facial expressions. In Krishna Nee Begane baaro, Neha showed her prowess in facial expressions and her grace through the various detailed movements. The dance was absolutely delightful. Nuances of Neha’s expression and elegant movement in “Shree Ramachandra krupalu bhajaman” brought the scenes of Sita’s wedding to Lord Rama to life. Her depiction of the encounter between Surpanakha (the sister of the demons Khara and Dooshana) Laxmana was brilliant. The highlight of the Arangetram was Thilana. A lively item of pure nritya, in which specialized rhythmic syllables are sung to the melody, and repeated by the singer. Neha presented an expert elaboration of the music; and Bhoomi Mangalam by offering prayers and seeking blessings from Lord Nataraja and her Guru Indrani Parthasarthiy. As Neha concluded her magnificent performance, the audience rose to their feet and the packed auditorium resonated with their clapping in heartfelt appreciation! Neha’s interests: Neha is an accomplished musician and has been learning Hindustani music on harmonium

for 5 years. She has performed her dance and music at the Jones Hall for the Performing Arts, India Music Society and several community musical events. She is passionate about Colorguard and has been a member of her varsity team from her freshman year. Her team has won several contests and are current Regional Champions in the WGI circuit. Neha established the psychology club at her school with her teacher Mrs. Sandlin. She is a member of the National Honor Society and the National Society of High School Scholars. Neha aspires to pursue a career in the medical field.

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August 26, 2016

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Priya Patel Recipe Wins National Healthy Lunchtime Challenge Healthy Lunchtime Challenge. Her award winning recipe is A Tex-Mex Veg-Head Lasagna. Priya is the daughter of Fort Bend County Associate District Judge Stuti Patel and Hiren Patel. Winners representing all U.S. states, five territories, and the District of Columbia attended a Kids’ “State Dinner” at the White House hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama on July 14. Obama, PBS flagship station WGBH Boston, the U.S. Department of Education, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture recently announced the winners of the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge, a nationwide recipe challenge for kids that promotes cooking and healthy eating as part of the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative. The 56 aspiring young chefs and a parent or guardian joined the First Lady for a healthy lunch, featuring a selection of the winning recipes, followed by a visit to the White House Kitchen Garden. “For the last five years, kids across the country

have cooked up nutritious and delicious dishes as part of the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge, and each year, I continue to be impressed by their talent and creativity,” said the First Lady. This is the fifth year of the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge & Kids’ “State Dinner” in which 8 to 12-year-olds across the nation were invited to create a healthy, affordable, original, and delicious lunch recipe. Entrants were encouraged to reference ChooseMyPlate.gov to ensure recipes met the USDA’s recommended nutrition guidance by representing each of the food groups, either in one dish or as parts of a lunch meal, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and low-fat dairy. The Healthy Lunchtime Challenge received over 1,200 entries featuring wholesome, tasty ingredients. While in Washington, DC, US Congressman Pete Olson of Sugar Land hosted Priya and her family at his office, where he let her sit at his desk and pose with his gavel.

First Lady Michelle Obama is flanked by Priya Patel, left, and her mother Stuti Patel, right, of Sugar Land at the White House. Priya Patel, a 5th grader at Commonwealth Elementary School in Fort Bend ISD is one of the 50 winners of the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge and her award winning recipe is Tex-Mex Veg-Head Lasagna. She is the daughter of Fort Bend County Associate District Judge Stuti Patel and Hiren Patel. Winners representing all U.S. states, five territories, and the District of Columbia attended a Kids’ “State Dinner” at the White House hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama on July 14.

W

ASHINGTON, DC: Priya Patel, a 5th grader at Commonwealth Elementary School in Fort Bend ISD is one of the winners of the

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24 August 26, 2016

COMMUNITY

“Meera - Soul Divine”: A Dance Production in Support of All India Movement for Seva out of utter desolation and extreme HOUSTON: There will be a unique poverty. His vision is extraordinary: dance production on Sept. 5, at 4 PM at the Sri Meenakshi Temple Kalyana Mandapam, 17130 McLean Road, Pearland Texas. The artists are Padmashree Chitra Visweswaran and her Chidambaram Dance Company, with music by Arsha Kala Bhushanam Bombay Jayashree. They are on a tour of the UK and USA to raise funds for All India Movement for Seva, at the suggestion of Pujya Swami Dayananda Saraswati before he attained Samadhi at Rshikesh last September. The show was extremely well received at the premiere in Chennai Music Academy, in the UK, and on the US West coast. Comments from last weekend’s San Diego and Seattle shows: “It was so moving that I was in tears” “In the last scene Chitra-ji just got absorbed into the role of Meera that there was no difference between the two. It got me to tears…” “Music is beyond this world with Bombay Jayashree’s soulful voice,

to build homes for children, to offer wholesome living, free food and medical care, school supplies, afterschool tution, and extracurricular activities of music, games, yoga etc. Close to 100 such student residences have been built near existing schools, and operated by volunteers and donations. The success of AIM for SEVA over the past 15 years shows the quality of its organization and administration. The outstanding achievements of the children raised in the AIMS Student Homes are humbling and mind boggling. Without such help, these children would mostly live uninformed and uneducated, in extreme poverty, often used for labor and mostly invisible to the mainstream population. The AIMS movement now has global support. The Houston community has been part of this Seva for the past 10 years. We are here enjoying our blessings due to the heritage and education that we received from Bharath Mata. May we do our part in preserving that great heritage for the future generations, however underprivileged they may be to start with. Every child wants to reach the cloud ! Every child deserves a chance to fulfill his or her dreams and give society all he or she can offer.

Chitra-ji was Meera in and out. Perfect dance/music pair Chitra-ji/Bombay Jayashree”. Swami Dayananda Saraswati started the All India Movement for Seva in 2000 to educate and raise disadvantaged rural and tribal children of India

H

Backpack: A World within Itself Photo Exhibit by Narinder Sall

OUSTON: A photography exhibit by Narinder Sall, Backpack: A World Within Itself is currently on view at Aker Imaging Gallery in Houston, Texas and will continue until September 4, 2016. Born and raised in India, Narinder Sall emigrated to America in 1968. As a photographer, he has worked in both commercial and editorial circles. He co-authored Leonard Tharp: An American Style of Flower Arrangement, a hard cover book written by Lisa Ruffin Harrison and flower designer Leonard Tharp. He lives in Houston with his wife Mary Sall. Approaching each of his subjects with a sense of wonder, he finds dreamlike images amidst ordinary settings. His purpose is to find new, revealing perspectives on the world and to share these experiences with his viewers. He is captivated by the concept of the image and its psychological impact on the viewer. This series started with the chance finding of one dried philodendron plant in someone’s empty lot. Approaching it with curiosity Sall observed that it was not very heavy and its tubes were tangled up circling around one another in ev-

Narinder Sall

ery direction. Unraveling and dissecting the tangled roots took several months of careful work and patience and eventually produced 22 images. To view more images, visit www.narindersall.com

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August 26, 2016

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26 August 26, 2016

SUDOKU

Place a Number in the empty boxes in such a way that each row across, each column down and each 9-box square contains all of the numbers from one to nine. Send us the correct answer before August 30, 2016. Email us at indoamericannews@yahoo.com or mail to 7457 Harwin Drive, Suite 262, Houston, TX 77036. Send us your solved Sudoku for your name to be published (for first three entrees only & 1 submission per month).

PUZZLES / RECIPES

Mama’s Punjabi Recipes

Mithhe Ambh di Chatni (Sweet Mango Chutney) Ingredients: • 2 large ambh (mangoes) – any type, ripe ones • 100 gm gur (brown rock cane sugar, jaggery) • 1 tsp sirka (white vinegar) • Spices: 2 tsp mirch (red pepper), 1 tsp garam masala, 1 tsp methi dana (fenugreek seed) powder

Solution Next Week

If there’s one fruit that wins the heart

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of Indians, it has to be the mango which is grown all over. The mango is the national fruit of India, Pakistan and The Philippines and the national tree of Bangladesh. And any schoolkid in these countries can proudly tell you, it takes seven years before a mango tree can produce any fruit; the Alphonso variety is best for eating but the smaller ones can be sucked through the skin and you make tasty pickles and amchoor from the small, pungent, green ones. And the mango is even celebrated in the fashion and design world, being drawn in a shape commonly known as paisley but named ambhi in Punjabi. It is a symbol that sprang up millennia ago somewhere between present-day Iran and Kashmir.

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Chutneys are popular condiments – mistakenly referred to as sauce in the West – to dip finger foods in, or even to spice up a parantha or yogurt dish. Chutneys are usually made of herbs and spices for seasoning, which are ground together with some vinegar, lemon or tamarind juice to add the tanginess. Spices most commonly used include methi (fenugreek), dhania(coriander), jeera (cumin) and hing (asafoetida). There are many varieties of chutneys and their ways of preparation vary across the Indian Sub-Continent. Major Grey’s Chutney is an Anglicized variety which is sweet and spicy with raisins, mango, vinegar, lime juice, onion and tamarind popular in the UK and the US and was reputedly created by a 19th-century British Army officer who served in Colonial India. This recipe for mithhe ambh di chutney (sweet mango chutney) is quite quick and simple to make and can be eaten like a spicy preserve on toast and certainly with your favorite snack or dish.

Directions: 1.Wash the mangoes and then peel them. 2.Take the pulp off and place it into a bowl. Throw away the seed and puree the pulp with a fork. 3.Crush the gur into small pieces and then add it into the pulp. Now add the red pepper, garam masala and methi dana powder and mix well. Do not add salt to this chutney. 4.Pour into a jar and mix in the vinegar. Keep in the fridge for long preservation. 5.Serve with bread, roti or any snack. Shakuntla Malhotra is a skilled cook of Punjabi dishes made in the oldfashioned style that she learnt as a young woman in her ancestral home in Lyallpur (since renamed Faisalabad), India before it became part of Pakistan after the Partition. People have often admired her cooking for its simplicity and taste that comes with each mouthful. Even in her late-eighties, she continues to cook daily and agreed to share some of her delectable recipes.

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garden where they ness for gardening grow ve or One of these is the just to get some items that they can’ getables, either out of a fondt easily get in the karela (bitter gour supermarkets. d) w easy to grow as a vi ne that creeps up th hich has its own beneficial uses an d is also very e back fence or a lat exude a wonderfu l pungent, burnt sm ell when they are ru tice on the side wall. The leaves small yellow flow stled and the fruit er. starts off with a Unfortunately, shell snails also like the creeping up and lea aroma of the kare ving a trail on the leaves that just turn la and will destroy the vine by way to get rid of th s them brown and em is by sprinklin cr g a snail and slug vines, but you still killer pellets around ispy. The best have to pick off th th e pests from the lea ves as you see them e base of the .

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INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, AUGUST 26, 2016 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


August 26, 2016

ENTERTAINMENT:REVIEWS/NEWS ENTERTAINMENT:REVIEWS/NEWS UnIndian film: This Side, that Side

27

Happy Bhag Jayegi

Abhay Deol, Diana Penty Return in Full Form

It’s neither a Runaway Bride remake

Bret Lee plays Will who falls in love with Tannishtha Chatterjee’s Meera, only to be told — repeatedly — that he is UnIndian.

A cross-cultural romance comes

with its own tropes. A successful one manages to break free while acknowledging the need for said conventions. UnIndian does quite well on that count; it’s familiar enough and yet manages to please. So there’s Will Henderson (Brett Lee), a true-blue Aussie who teaches a bunch of rookies the rules of English as it is spoken Down Under. He hangs out with his best buds, one brown, one white and tries learning how to date Indian chicks. And there’s Meera (Chatterjee) who’s certainly not a ‘chick’ even if she has strong desi roots. She has a bad marriage behind her, and a spunky little daughter, and is not ready for the dating game. But the flare of attraction between the two is real and strong, and the way it develops, slow and steady, makes UnIndian a true rom com. Meera’sparents,playedbyAakash Khurana and Supriya Pathak, add heft to the film, though you wish

the latter would stop going so much on the doctor-MBA-good-match; Pathak is quite capable of speaking without such a broad accent. There are more brush-strokes in the whole desi community bonding over Holi (with ‘I’, not ‘y’), spicy cookery shows, and hot Indian curry restaurants. But the thing between the two lovers makes up for those predictable patches. Lee, surprisingly, isn’t bad at all, and manages the emotional bits quite well, though he does flatten in bits. So does the film, but meanwhile it makes its point that East and West can sometimes be best. What UnIndian does, most of all, to rescue Tannishta Chatterjee from all those faux ‘gaon-walis’ she has been forced to play because she is ‘dusky’. “Beta, wipe your face, you look so dark,” says a well-meaning aunty to Meera, and Meera looks at her and smiles, and says, “But I am dark.” And doesn’t wipe her face. Good stuff. -indianexpress.com

nor is it borrowed from Pyaar Ke Side Effects. The only connect is that the bride leaves her house in a hurry. From there, Happy Bhag Jayegi rises on its own and is a surprisingly good entertainer. An Amritsari strongman and local corporator Daman Singh Bagga (Jimmy Shergill) is paying his tribute to Sunny Deol by dancing to ‘Yaara O Yaara’ when his would-be wife Harpreet aka Happy (Diana Penty) goes missing. She lands up in Lahore, in the house of Bilal Ahmed (Abhay Deol), a reluctant politician. Fearing a political storm over keeping an Indian with him, Bilal tries to hide Happy’s presence from the local media. But his plans take a wild turn when some Indians cross the border in search of Happy. Happy Bhag Jayegi is a light-hearted comedy where actors don’t go overboard. They take liberties to be funny, but understand the gravity of the situation. For example, Bilal, who wanted to be a cricketer, was forced into politics by his father. But he is a smart enough to exploit the situation in his favour, if need be. In one scene, Bilal makes his father believe that the girl he has seen is his late wife’s soul. There are other laughter-worthy instances. Bagga, who walks with an army of henchmen, downplays

it once inside Pakistan. Ali Fazal’s Guddu and Piyush Mishra’s Usman Afridi add more to the drama. You may find some scenes repeated, or ‘inspired’ from other films, but Happy Bhag Jayegi has a funny tone to it. The whole idea of the film seems far-fetched initially, but the build-up to the climax washes all our doubts away. Diana Penty is the cohesive force behind Happy Bhag Jayegi. Abhay Deol’s return to form ensures you keep laughing for more than two hours. Jimmy Shergill continues from where he left in Tanu Weds Manu Returns, and with more fervour. Pakistani actor Momal Sheikh as Bilal’s fiancée is a revelation. Overall, director Mudassar Aziz’s

film is a good watch. The supply of situational comedy won’t end till you leave the theatre. -hindustantimes.com

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, AUGUST 26, 2016 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM

Happy Birthday

Neha Dhupia August 27, 1980


28 August 26, 2016

Captain Kohli Lauds Ashwin, Saha Roles in 2-0 SPORTS

SPORTS

PV Sindhu, Sakshi Win, But Lots of Hearbreaks

BY KARTHIK KRISHNASWAMY

P

ORT OF SPAIN: India captain Virat Kohli has said the runs scored by R Ashwin and Wriddhiman Saha in the lower middle-order are the biggest positives to emerge from India’s 2-0 Test series win in the West Indies. Ashwin, promoted to No. 6 in the first three Tests in order for India to play five specialist bowlers, scored centuries in Antigua and St Lucia. Saha made useful 40s in the first two Tests and a maiden Test hundred after coming in to bat at 126 for 5 in the third Test in St Lucia. “It has been pretty good for us, a lot of positives, a lot of things we wanted to improve on we have,” Kohli said after a still-damp outfield forced the final day’s play in the fourth Test at Queen’s Park Oval to be called off. “For me the biggest positive was Saha getting runs in the lower order plus Ashwin coming good at No. 6. “Those were areas that were very important for us to solidify and we have done that in this series. I’m pretty happy. I hope we can keep on making that aspect of our team stronger because when you are in a tough situation in Test matches those are the positions that matter a lot. We’ve seen teams who have done well and won consistently, their lower order has contributed, especially the bowlers. “These are important runs that take the momentum away from the opposite team. That’s something we wanted to work hard on. We have done that and got the results in this series.” Despite the successes of the lowerorder batsmen in the first three Tests, India went into the final Test with six batsmen, a wicketkeeper, and only four bowlers. Asked why they had done so, Kohli said they were looking to try this combination with an eye on the packed home season ahead. “We thought that we lost a Test in Galle [in 2015], we were a batsman short there,” Kohli said. “In the series against South Africa at home as well we were in trouble quite a few times because we were a batsman short. We wanted to try out this combination. “If we play four specialist bowlers back home, we feel we don’t have the need for the fifth bowler... if you

India’s Rio winners: Sakshi (left) and Sindhu.

R

Darren Bravo is cleaned up by R Ashwin, West Indies v India, 4th Test, Port of Spain, 1st day, August 18, 2016.

play three spinners on spin-friendly wickets that should get the job done. Even if you play two spinners and two quicks, Rohit [Sharma] and [M] Vijay can come in and bowl ten overs for me. “This was something we wanted to try, in case we want to play with this combination going ahead the team should be comfortable with it. And they should know how to play in this situation as well. If you play with only one combination teams are going to start planning better against you. You need to be flexible. Unfortunately we couldn’t get game-time.” Kohli was also pleased with India’s pool of fast bowlers, which he believed extended even beyond the five - Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav and Shardul Thakur - chosen in the squad for the Test series. “We have a good bunch of fast bowlers now,” he said. “Apart from these five guys we have Varun Aaron who has played Test cricket, who has lot of pace. “We have Dhawal Kulkarni. We have identified a few bowlers back home as well who we want to keep up-to-date with the fitness levels required to play at this level in Testmatch cricket. That for me is one

aspect that has been really pleasing to see. “How Shami has come back [from injury] as well, how Bhuvi has come back to full fitness, he’s bowling good speeds with swing as well. Ishant has always been consistently hitting good areas for us. You will see, with him, not having too many wickets in three to four innings, but suddenly he’ll pick you a seven-for or six-for. That’s why we back a guy like Ishant, because, against top-quality sides, he can still keep hitting those areas and he puts the batsman under pressure. “Umesh has bowled wonderfully as well. The good thing is that everyone’s flexible to be played or not played according to the conditions, and that, for a captain, is obviously a very good thing, because it gives you flexibility in the bowling combination that you want to pick. That was one aspect after someone like Zak [Zaheer Khan] retired, that was a big gap to fill, but these guys have started to take responsibility nicely, they’ve understood the areas that need improvement, and they’ve worked on consistency a lot. That’s something that I saw in this series as well.” Karthik Krishnaswamy is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo -espn.com

Misbah Leads Pak to #1

L

ONDON: Pakistan’s rise to become the No. 1 Test team is a story of triumph in the face of adversity unlike that of any other side. Perhaps the greatest ever achievement of the Pakistan Cricket Board was to make Misbah Test captain after 2010, narrowly followed by its decision to leave him in charge for the next six years. The PCB got those epoch-making decisions right, Misbah did the rest. Misbah’s captaincy works because of simple virtues. First, he has a clear plan of how he wants to set his team up and how he wants to win. This might be too defensive for some people’s tastes, too slow-burn, too patient, but Misbah knows how to make his plan work. Second, he leads by example, whether it’s how to approach the game and the distractions that come with it or how to make the most of your talents. The power of role models is a strong theme in Pakistan cricket. Misbah is rivalling Imran Khan as heroic leader, although Misbah’s leadership comes with greater measure and an icier cool.

IO DE JANEIRO (TOI): At a time when India’s Rio dreams appeared to be turning into ruins, two girls from diverse backgrounds, stepped up to the plate and made the country proud. Badminton delivered once again, so did wrestling. PV Sindhu’s silver medal in badminton was a path-breaking achievement. The 21-year-old showed once again that she has what it takes to thrive on the big stage. Flashing her sunshine smile and flaunting her aggressive style, Sindhu made a statement of purpose before going down in three sets to world No.1 Carolina Marin in the final. Two days earlier, Sakshi Malik, an unheralded grappler from the Haryana hinterland, had taken the repechage route to win a bronze. Apart from these two, Indian sportspersons floundered in their quest for medals. However, if one looks beyond the medals column there were some heart-warming displays. Dipa Karmakar, Lalita Babar, Abhinav Bindra and Sania MirzaRohan Bopanna pair all raised medal hopes. Dipa was the best of the beaten lot. No one expected a medal from her, yet she came tantalisingly close to nailing a bronze. Hailing from a state which lacks infrastructure for gymnastics, this diminutive girl from Tripura had to overcome tall odds to make it to Rio. By embracing the rarely-attempted ‘death vault’ (Produnova), Dipa showed the world that she was prepared to risk everything to win laurels for the country. Having missed the bronze by just 0.15 points in Rio, Dipa is determined to make it to the podium in Tokyo 2020.

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, AUGUST 26, 2016 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


August 26, 2016

Gail India to Partner US Firm for

New Gas Power Generation Technology

Gail, which is in the field of gas marketing and transportation, will benefit from a deeper gas market in the country.

NEW DELHI: State-owned Gail

(India) Ltd said on Saturday it will tie up with California-based closely-held firm Bloom Energy Corp. on Monday to pursue natural gas-based fuel cell power generation, a new technology. Gail said an agreement will be signed with the company in the presence of oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Gail chairman and managing director B.C. Tripathi and Bloom Energy chief executive K.R. Sridhar. “This will explore long-term natural gas market potential for power generation.” Gail said without giving further details, which are expected on Monday. An invitation from Bloom Energy said its fuel cell technology could help the country move away from relying on fixed power infrastructure which is prohibitively capital intensive to “capital light and soft” infrastructure. Bloom Energy claims its technology converts fuel into electricity

through a clean electro-chemical process, which can use a variety of fuels, including biogas. Unlike traditional power generation, Bloom uses virtually no water and produces no unhealthy emissions, it stated. Gail, which is in the field of gas marketing and transportation, will benefit from a deeper gas market in the country. At present, natural gas accounts for only about 6.5% of India’s primary energy mix dominated by coal and crude oil. The government is pursuing private investments into the entire value chain of gas, which is generating interest from firms such as Bloom Energy. However, availability of gas is limited in the country and freight cost and currency exchange rate movements add to uncertainty in relying on liquefied natural gas imported from gas surplus countries. -livemint.com

29

Urjit Patel: The Hawk without a Halo

NEW DELHI: The government’s

decision to appoint Urjit Patel as the next governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is meant to reassure markets and investors—foreign investors in particular—that the sensible policies initiated by Raghuram Rajan will continue. It seeks to repair the damage caused to the government’s image by Rajan’s exit. The move is intended to signal that the government has no problem with either Rajan’s policies or with the independence of the central bank. After all, the least one can expect is that Patel will implement the road map of the monetary policy committee (MPC) that he himself chaired. Also, he has the reputation of being an inflation as well as fiscal hawk. Does it mean that the RBI will continue to go down the road to 4% inflation then? Patel has very strong opinions about inflation, as seen from a 2012 paper called Dynamics of Inflation Herding: Decoding India’s Inflation Process that he wrote for the Brookings Institution along with economist Gangadhar Darbha. The paper has some very scathing remarks about the attitude of the then government and the RBI top brass to inflation. Here’s a little flavour of what it contains: “A spate of recent statements seems to suggest that the mediumterm objective of around three percent inflation articulated by inter alia the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is being given a quiet burial; A senior (and serious) official earlier this year described six percent annual inflation as ‘comfortable’, and ‘quiet (sic) acceptable’—comfortable and acceptable to whom? Is the suspension of long-standing sound, conservative, inflationary targets temporary, or, is this the new ‘normal?” And finally, there’s a direct attack on then RBI governor D. Subbarao: “This is an astonishing series of ni-

Urjit Patel

hilistic statements—unassisted by evidence or even a hint of scientific thoroughness—from the central bank head pleading either hopelessness on account of India being a large and diverse Federal entity, or, a form of muddled eclecticism.” A man who wrote that is unlikely to be comfortable with the current inflation rate of 6%, nor would he be happy with giving the 4% inflation target a quiet burial, nor will he be a fan of the “muddled eclecticism” that believes there’s a trade-off between inflation and growth in the long term. Does that mean the government is fine if interest rates don’t come down further? Well, which government wouldn’t want lower interest rates, but it realizes that, in a world of volatile capital flows, the key lies in policy credibility and retaining investor confidence. That it doesn’t want to give up the hard-won gains on that front is seen both from the decision to appoint Patel as the RBI governor and in its earlier choice of sticking to the fiscal deficit policy target this fiscal. Of course, it’s also true that the RBI governor’s role in setting interest rates has been whittled down with the introduction of the MPC. It is this

committee that will take the decisions in future. What’s more, the government disagreed with the recommendation of the Urjit Patel committee to have three members from the RBI and two government appointees in the MPC. Instead, they insisted on three government nominees and three RBI members, with the governor having the casting vote in the event of a tie. And, as this column has pointed out earlier, there’s plenty of discretion within the inflation range, with the government saying the 4% target could be achieved over the “medium term”. But perhaps the biggest difference between Patel and Rajan lies in their style of functioning. As a despairing colleague searching for clues about Patel’s views bitterly complained, Patel has made only two speeches during his stint as RBI deputy governor in the past three-and-a-half years. In comparison, Rajan has let loose a torrent of words and views on us. Indeed, Patel’s low-key image, the opposite of Rajan’s rock-star persona, may have been a key factor in his appointment. The time has come, he seems to be saying, to focus on the nuts and bolts, eschewing grand policy statements. That technocratic focus will be to the government’s liking. To a reporter’s query on whether the fall in the rupee would weigh on the RBI’s future actions, Patel responded: “What is internalized in terms of policy action emanating from external developments is looking only at the headline inflation number and therefore it is one of many factors that would go into this decision and we would not be focusing on the external value or the volatility in the environment directly, but only indirectly through its feedback into the headline inflation rate.” -livemint.com

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